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Galway University Hospital uses collection agency to collect €150,000 in patient debt

A spokesperson for the West/North West Hospitals Group said the figure relates to patient debt at University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park University Hospital.

Image: Brian Farrell/Photocall Ireland

ALMOST €150,000 HAS been collected in patient debt by Galway University Hospitals (GUH) over the past twelve months.

The Medical Independent (MI) reports that €147,807 has been paid to Garwyn Ltd, a collection agency.

A spokesperson for the West/North West Hospitals Group told MI this figure relates to patient debt at GUH (University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park University Hospital).

As well as the debt collection, the group spokesperson told MI that work is in progress to reach a “sustainable transport management solution”.

Minutes from a group board meeting in December stated that transport costs for the group – which includes seven hospitals – were predicted to reach €5 million by year end (2013).

According to the group’s April 2014 board minutes, it was over budget by €8.9 million at the end of February and was “currently facing a financial deficit challenge of €48 million by year end.” It had identified “cost containment measures totalling €12 million”.

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The group’s board minutes in March referred to medical agency costs and its “inability to recruit consultants” as hastening the emergence of “a serious financial situation”.

Read Catherine Reilly’s story on the Medical Independent here

Read: Chairman of West/Northwest Hospital Group resigns over ‘conflict of interest’

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